WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa A. Rickard released the following statement in response to today’s release of the Tillinghast Towers-Perrin annual study (pdf) of the cost of America’s tort system, which shows an overall 5.5 percent decline in 2006 to $247 billion:
“We are heartened to see that the massive cost of America’s legal system has at least temporarily stopped its meteoric rise of the past two decades. We hope that this downturn is a first step toward reducing costs in a system that is still more than twice as expensive as the world’s other industrialized nations.
“A long-term tort cost decline is necessary to return the nation’s civil justice system back toward one of true justice and away from out-of-control abusive lawsuits.
“The news of dropping tort costs may also be an explanation as to why the plaintiff’s trial lawyers are right now waging an all-out, multi-million dollar lobbying effort in Washington and in state capitals to create more legal causes of action and, thus, more lawsuits.
“If the plaintiffs’ trial lawyers successfully convince Congress and state legislators to create more ways to sue, the downturn in tort costs will only be a temporary blip in the long-term upward trend of America’s out-of-control increasing legal costs.”
The mission of the Institute for Legal Reform is to make America’s legal system simpler, fairer, and faster for everyone. It seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation, representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.